Gee, I'm really sorry your mom blew up, Ricky. I guess she won't be able to eat any spicy foods for a while.

Lane - Better Off Dead


106 mins | rated 15

Newcomer Julie Ledru excels as a young tearaway with a passion for motorbikes who finds herself drawn into a local bike gang’s skeezy dealings.

Julia (Julie Ledru) lives on a social housing estate with her mother and brother. Relations at home are fraught and Julie’s only escape is urban dirt-biking, but coming from an underprivileged household she hasn’t the money to own her own. So, she steals them; and she’s pretty good at it. It’s while on one of these stolen bikes that she encounters the B-More gang, a group who revels in the world of urban rodeos, a sub-culture of motorbike fanatics whose activities reach far beyond the stunts they revel in. Initially suspicious of Julie’s presence, her hustling abilities draw her into the fold, close to the gang’s imprisoned leader and his tough but troubled wife Ophélie (Antonia Buresi). As she becomes more embroiled in the gang’s underhand dealings, Julia reveals plans for a heist that could net them a small fortune but carries with it no small amount of danger.

Lola Quivoron’s feature directorial debut is a rites-of-passage drama that launches itself into the crime genre at full throttle, packed with incredible bike stunts by stunt coordinator Mathieu Lardot, who has worked on major action films like Spectre and Mission Impossible: Fallout. But at its heart it is a fascinating character study of Julia, an outsider desperately looking to belong. A biker discovered by the filmmaker on Instagram, Ledru is a compelling presence, displaying a quiet intensity that’s all the more impressive for this being her first screen appearance, Ledru imbues Julia with a delicate balance of independence and neediness, whose reserve masks an inner rage.

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